Yann Martel quotes

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Yann Martel

Birthdate: 25. June 1963
Other names: Янн Мартел, یان مارتل

Yann Martel is a Spanish-born Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, a #1 international bestseller published in more than 50 territories. It has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and spent more than a year on the Bestseller Lists of the New York Times and The Globe and Mail, among many other best-selling lists. It was adapted to the screen and directed by Ang Lee, garnering four Oscars including Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.Martel is also the author of the novels The High Mountains of Portugal, Beatrice and Virgil and Self, the collection of stories The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He has won a number of literary prizes, including the 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the 2002 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.Although his first language is French, Yann Martel writes in English: "English is the language in which I best express the subtlety of life. But I must say that French is the language closest to my heart. And for this same reason, English gives me a sufficient distance to write." Wikipedia

Works

Life of Pi
Yann Martel

„Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…“

—  Yann Martel, book Life of Pi

Source: Life of Pi (2001), Chapter 1, p. 6
Context: The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity — it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.

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„I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.“

—  Yann Martel, book Life of Pi

Source: Life of Pi (2001), Chapter 63, p. 212
Context: I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.

„You want dry, yeastless factuality.“

—  Yann Martel, book Life of Pi

Source: Life of Pi (2001), Chapter 99, p. 336
Context: I know what you want. You want a story that won't surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won't make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.

„Already then something was lost forever, a basic trust.“

—  Yann Martel

Source: Beatrice & Virgil (2010), p. 175
Context: I remember the first slap, just as I was being brought in. Already then something was lost forever, a basic trust. If there's an exquisite collection of Meissen porcelain and a man takes a cup and deliberately drops it to the floor, shattering it, why wouldn't he then proceed to break everything else? What difference does it make, cup or tureen, once the man has made clear his disregard for porcelain? With that first blow, something akin to porcelain shattered in me. It was a hard slap, forceful yet casual, given for no reason, before I had even identified myself. If they would do that to me, why wouldn't they do worse? Indeed, how could they stop themselves? A single blow is a dot, meaningless. It's a line that is wanted, a connection between the dots that will give purpose and direction. One blow demands a second and then a third and onwards.

„Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language.“

—  Yann Martel

Source: Beatrice & Virgil (2010), p. 23
Context: Colonialism is a terrible bane for a people upon whom it is imposed, but a blessing for a language. English's drive to exploit the new and the alien, its zeal in robbing words from other languages, its incapacity to feel qualms over the matter, its museum-size overabundance of vocabulary, its shoulder-shrug approach to spelling, its don't-worry-be-happy concern for grammar—the result was a language whose colour and wealth Henry loved. In his entirely personal experience of [languages], English was jazz music, German was classical music, French was ecclesiastical music, and Spanish was music from the streets. Which is to say, stab his heart and it would bleed French, slice his brain open and its convolutions would be lined with English and German, and touch his hands and they would feel Spanish.

„It was a hard slap, forceful yet casual, given for no reason, before I had even identified myself. If they would do that to me, why wouldn't they do worse? Indeed, how could they stop themselves?“

—  Yann Martel

Source: Beatrice & Virgil (2010), p. 175
Context: I remember the first slap, just as I was being brought in. Already then something was lost forever, a basic trust. If there's an exquisite collection of Meissen porcelain and a man takes a cup and deliberately drops it to the floor, shattering it, why wouldn't he then proceed to break everything else? What difference does it make, cup or tureen, once the man has made clear his disregard for porcelain? With that first blow, something akin to porcelain shattered in me. It was a hard slap, forceful yet casual, given for no reason, before I had even identified myself. If they would do that to me, why wouldn't they do worse? Indeed, how could they stop themselves? A single blow is a dot, meaningless. It's a line that is wanted, a connection between the dots that will give purpose and direction. One blow demands a second and then a third and onwards.

„I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously.“

—  Yann Martel, book Life of Pi

Source: Life of Pi (2001), Chapter 94, p. 316
Context: I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously. What a terrible thing it is to botch the farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things meaningful shape.

„Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.“

—  Yann Martel, book Life of Pi

Source: Life of Pi (2001), Chapter 99, pp. 330–331
Context: I applied my reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.

„To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. When you are in the sun, can you avoid creating a shadow?“

—  Yann Martel

Source: Beatrice & Virgil (2010), p. 103
Context: To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. When you are in the sun, can you avoid creating a shadow? Can you shake that area of darkness that clings to you, always shaped like you, as if constantly to remind you of yourself? You can't. This shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun. And who wouldn't want to be in the sun?

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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